WhatsApp warns billions of Android and iPhone users how strangers can read your text messages – and how you can protect yourself

iPhone and Android users around the world have been urged to beware of “cloning” of leading messaging platform WhatsApp.

And choosing the wrong app when it comes to WhatsApp could even result in your most intimate messages being exposed to strangers.

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The problem with cloning of the popular messaging app has prompted a warning from the actual WhatsApp creators so users can make sure they have downloaded and installed the real deal.

“Unofficial WhatsApp apps are modified versions of our app, which means they are developed by third parties and violate our Terms of Service,” WhatsApp warned, according to The Sun.

“We don’t support these apps because they compromise your privacy and security.

“If you use them, there is no guarantee that your messages or your data such as your location or the files you share will be private and secure.”

The app’s support team warned that there’s no way to ensure your messages are safe if you’re using one of the chat platform’s clone versions.

Using fake versions is also a violation of WhatsApp’s terms of service, which can result in you being banned from using the actual app.

WhatsApp has highlighted at least two modified versions of the app containing malware that users should steer clear of on both iPhone and Android: Whatsapp Plus and GB Whatsapp.

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Possible warning signs that you are using a fake version of WhatsApp are requests for membership fees – there is no fee for using the real app – or the use of advertising.

While Google will likely warn Android users on its app store if they try to download rogue versions of WhatsApp that they are rogue versions and they may be uninstalled, it’s still not a foolproof system.

The best thing users can do is go to the official iPhone download site here or if you are using Android go to the official GooglePlay site for WhatsApp here.

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